Overall Rating Silver - expired
Overall Score 54.46
Liaison Audrey McSain
Submission Date March 30, 2018
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

Lehigh University
OP-19: Waste Minimization and Diversion

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 2.16 / 8.00 Gary Falasca
Facilities Services
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Figures needed to determine total waste generated (and diverted):
Performance Year Baseline Year
Materials recycled 897.39 Tons 335.07 Tons
Materials composted 957.85 Tons 659.28 Tons
Materials donated or re-sold 30.59 Tons 13 Tons
Materials disposed through post-recycling residual conversion 0 Tons 0 Tons
Materials disposed in a solid waste landfill or incinerator 1,215.53 Tons 1,269.32 Tons
Total waste generated 3,101.36 Tons 2,276.67 Tons

A brief description of the residual conversion facility, including affirmation that materials are sorted prior to conversion to recover recyclables and compostable materials:

Start and end dates of the performance year and baseline year (or three-year periods):
Start Date End Date
Performance Year July 1, 2016 June 30, 2017
Baseline Year July 1, 2010 June 30, 2011

A brief description of when and why the waste generation baseline was adopted (e.g. in sustainability plans and policies or in the context of other reporting obligations):

First year of overall data

Figures needed to determine "Weighted Campus Users”:
Performance Year Baseline Year
Number of students resident on-site 3,463 4,608
Number of employees resident on-site 0 0
Number of other individuals resident on-site and/or staffed hospital beds 0 0
Total full-time equivalent student enrollment 6,659 7,577.33
Full-time equivalent of employees (staff + faculty) 1,814.67 1,654
Full-time equivalent of students enrolled exclusively in distance education 203 234.33
Weighted campus users 7,068.75 7,899.75

Total waste generated per weighted campus user:
Performance Year Baseline Year
Total waste generated per weighted campus user 0.44 Tons 0.29 Tons

Percentage reduction in total waste generated per weighted campus user from baseline:

Percentage of materials diverted from the landfill or incinerator by recycling, composting, donating or re-selling, performance year:

Percentage of materials diverted from the landfill or incinerator (including up to 10 percent attributable to post-recycling residual conversion):

In the waste figures reported above, has the institution recycled, composted, donated and/or re-sold the following materials?:
Yes or No
Paper, plastics, glass, metals, and other recyclable containers Yes
Food Yes
Cooking oil Yes
Plant materials Yes
Animal bedding No
White goods (i.e. appliances) Yes
Laboratory equipment No
Furniture Yes
Residence hall move-in/move-out waste Yes
Scrap metal Yes
Pallets Yes
Tires Yes
Other (please specify below) Yes

A brief description of other materials the institution has recycled, composted, donated and/or re-sold:

Electronic waste such as computer CPU, monitors, keyboards, mouse, televisions, batteries, plastic film, etc

Materials intended for disposal but subsequently recovered and reused on campus, performance year (e.g. materials that are actively diverted from the landfill or incinerator and refurbished/repurposed) :

Does the institution use single stream recycling (a single container for commingled recyclables) to collect standard recyclables (i.e. paper, plastic, glass, metals) in common areas?:

Does the institution use dual stream (two separate containers for recyclables, e.g. one for paper and another for plastic, glass, and metals) to collect standard recyclables (i.e. paper, plastic, glass, metals) in common areas?:

Does the institution use multi-stream recycling (multiple containers that further separate different types of materials) to collect standard recyclables (i.e. paper, plastic, glass, metals) in common areas?:

Average contamination rate for the institution’s recycling program (percentage, 0-100):

A brief description of any recycling quality control mechanisms employed, e.g. efforts to minimize contamination and/or monitor the discard rates of the materials recovery facilities and mills to which materials are diverted:

Collectors open recycling bags prior to loading into compactors. Materials are scanned for contamination before being placed into compactors.

A brief description of the institution's waste-related behavior change initiatives, e.g. initiatives to shift individual attitudes and practices such as signage and competitions:

Participation in football and basketball game day challenges and Recyclemania. Student Eco Reps reinforce recycling practices in all residence halls and Greek housing. Recycling education is part of the Earth Day celebration each year.

A brief description of the institution's waste audits and other initiatives to assess its materials management efforts and identify areas for improvement:

The Office of Sustainability conducts 15-20 non-food waste audits annually on academic, administrative, residential and greek buildings

A brief description of the institution's procurement policies designed to prevent waste (e.g. by minimizing packaging and purchasing in bulk):

Lehigh worked with our office supplies vendors to minimize packaging supplies are delivered in.

A brief description of the institution's surplus department or formal office supplies exchange program that facilitates reuse of materials:

Asa's Attic is Lehigh's Surplus Property Disposal program available to faculty and staff departments. During the 2016-2017 academic year, Lehigh began looking into an alternative surplus property program, which is now in the process of being developed.

A brief description of the institution's platforms to encourage peer-to-peer exchange and reuse (e.g. of electronics, furnishings, books and other goods):

A brief description of the institution's limits on paper and ink consumption (e.g. restricting free printing and/or mandating doubled-sided printing in libraries and computer labs):

Lehigh has instituted a printing quota for students which results in an annual paper savings of a 1 million pages per academic year. Double sided printing is default for all public sites (libraries and computer labs) printers.

A brief description of the institution's initiatives to make materials (e.g. course catalogs, course schedules, and directories) available online by default rather than printing them:

Library and Technology Services works with Lehigh faculty to educate them about alternatives to requiring printing in their classes.

A brief description of the institution's program to reduce residence hall move-in/move-out waste:

Students who will be packing up at the end of the semester are encouraged
to donate unwanted clothing, linens, electronics, school supplies,
household items, furniture, and unopened food at designated locations
within each residence hall or at the sorting facility on campus.

Proceeds from this sale will fund Lehigh's Afterschool Homework Clubs for
South Bethlehem children.

In addition to benefiting this worthwhile cause, the sale also helps
recycle much-needed items back into the community, at extremely affordable

A brief description of the institution's programs or initiatives to recover and reuse other materials intended for disposal:


The website URL where information about the programs or initiatives is available:
Additional documentation to support the submission:

Data source(s) and notes about the submission:

The information presented here is self-reported. While AASHE staff review portions of all STARS reports and institutions are welcome to seek additional forms of review, the data in STARS reports are not verified by AASHE. If you believe any of this information is erroneous or inconsistent with credit criteria, please review the process for inquiring about the information reported by an institution or simply email your inquiry to stars@aashe.org.